SUFB 1074: China Can Help Save Antarctic Sea Life Through An MPA Vote


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By Andrew Lewin. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The Antarctic is a very special place and boasts some of the most fascinating species on the planet. It's also special because it's a place where 24 countries manage the land and coasts together, as one nation. The US, Chile, Australia, Russia, and China are just a few of the countries that get along in the South Pole but can be bitter enemies in other locations on the planet. These countries manage the resources of the Antarctic together. It may be difficult to reach a decision, but when a decision is made, the result is powerful. The Ross Sea Marine Protected Area is a great example of the demonstration of this collaboration.

Over 5 years ago, the 24 countries voted to create the world's largest Marine Protected Area in the world, saving krill, fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. The Ross Sea MPA was voted on a number of times, but the deal was reached over a decade later after Russia and China vote in favour of the MPA.

Russia and China are known for sending their fishing fleets to catch the Antarctic toothfish. Any Marine Protected Area would restrict access to more catch and more money for those fish. However, an MPA would be able to grow the fish population to a point where the fish species would have a chance to crow some much and so abundantly that it would have to leave the MPA boundaries and venture outside the boundaries.

John Kerry, former US Secretary of State and Ocean Advocate has penned an opinion piece in the New York Times to highlight the positive benefits a number of MPAs would have on the Antarctic Ocean system if China would vote in support of the MPA.

China has implemented "greener" policies over the last few years including new wording and implementation in their Distance-Fishing Fleet this past April (2020), where stricter penalties will be given to any vessel in the fleet that is caught bringing home illegal catches.

Will China vote for conservation and a more secure Antarctic Toothfish fishery?

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